Business Ombudsman Made a Working Visit to Dnipropetrovsk Region

Mr. Šemeta met with the leaders of the Regional State Administrations to establish cooperation and ongoing dialogue with local authorities and the business community. He discussed the most pressing issues that require Business Ombudsman’s attention in order to support entrepreneurship and improve the investment climate in the region.
“Supporting business and investment climate is a top priority for Dnipropetrovsk Regional State Administration. We are glad to cooperate with Business Ombudsman Council and facilitate solving problems that small and medium business encounters. The country is going through hard times now. Everyone faces difficulties, namely entrepreneurs. As never before do entrepreneurs need the government’s support, and our task is to provide it, because prosperity of the region and wellbeing of its citizens depends on that”, said Oleg Kuzhman, Vice-Governor of Dnipropetrovsk region. 
Šemeta also talked to the representatives of small and medium-sized businesses and discussed obstacles that entrepreneurs face. The issues raised included VAT refund delays; overdue compensation to companies whose employees have been drafted to serve in the Anti-Terrorist Operation; repeated failure by central government and local officials to enforce court rulings; contradictory decisions by local government agencies that affect the rights of entrepreneurs; government bodies and law-enforcement authorities putting pressure on businesses through baseless criminal proceedings that are not subject to court appeal.
Business Ombudsman highlighted main areas of his Office’s work.  Namely, in the first quarterly report issued in July 2015, the Council developed recommendations for the Cabinet of Ministers regarding connecting to the grid that should improve the rankings on Ukraine in Doing Business 2016, and main problems connected with the military situation in the East of Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea. Currently the Council’s experts are working on recommendations on tax administration and export-import operations that will be published in the next quarterly report in October.
Algirdas Šemeta also attended several enterprises in Dnipropetrovsk, namely LLC “Goida” (manufacturer of playgrounds for children) and LLC “Elektropromremont” (repair of electric equipment for mining enterprises).
Mr. Šemeta urged entrepreneurs to contact Business Ombudsman Council if their legal rights are violated: “At the moment Office received 325 complaints, 124 of which became full-fledged investigations, 41 are in the process of consideration, 123 have been dismissed, 37 cases have already been closed. We have 23 complaints from Dnipropetrovsk now, 2 of which have already been solved”, noted Algirdas Šemeta. He added that his Office would develop systemic recommendations for complaints on legislative changes, which could make life of the business easier.
The visit to Dnipropetrovsk is part of the Business Ombudsman’s regional working visit series, designed for Mr. Šemeta to meet with business and government representatives and discuss current problems and opportunities to expand the investment potential of the regions. In the previous quarter he visited Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Lviv regions. 

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